Confessions of a nerd Part III

Everybody, there’s something I need to get off my chest: I am a nerd. Yes, I am an avid Boston sports fan. Yes, I spend too much time at the gym. But deep inside I am as weird as everyone else. I say everyone because I have a hunch that I am not alone: behind our mainstream interest and normal-person façades, we all have our oddities—our guilty pleasures, if you will. Below are even more of my nerdy secrets most people do not know about. I hope that this post can inspire others to share their guilty pleasures as well because let’s be honest: being a nerd is a lot more fun than being normal! Click here for part one and part two!

Dog Glasses Cute Nerd Cool Book Confessions Animal Weekly Show Ratchet

“Sometimes all these equations make me sleepy.”

I can’t stop watching Pokémon

I’ve already confessed about how much I love Pokémon (I’m currently making my way through Pokémon White), but this brings it to a whole new level. Nintendo recently released a free iPhone and Android app called Pokémon TV. The app streams the episodes from every season of the Pokémon anime for free—and I’m hooked. I can’t believe I’d forgotten how awesome this show is. Whether battling gym leaders or exploring each region, Ash and friends have drawn me back into this amazing (yet shockingly twisted) world. As of now I’m halfway through season six. Thank goodness there are fifteen-plus seasons! Can anyone else recite Team Rocket’s motto by heart?

Pokemon Confessions Nerd TV Games Show Anime Ash Pikachu Weekly Show Ratchet

My childhood, organized into a single app.

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Lance Armstrong: Forgivable hero or narcissistic bastard?

As you very likely know by now, in an interview aired last Friday disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong admitted to Oprah Winfrey that he had used illegal performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) during his legendary run of Tour de France victories. The confession came just months after the International Cycling Union, cycling’s governing body, stripped Armstrong of his seven titles following a United States Anti-Doping Association report alleging he had participated in the “most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.” While this admission comes as a surprise to approximately no one, it poses to an interesting question: should he be forgiven?

It’s time for Lance Armstrong to wave goodbye to his career.

It’s time for Lance Armstrong to wave goodbye to his career.

Let’s start with the facts. Armstrong fought back from testicular cancer in 1996 to win the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times from 1999-2005. Once considered one of the greatest athletes of all time, his story inspired millions and brought cycling’s popularity to new heights. In 1997 he founded the LIVESTRONG Foundation, which has raised over $470 million to support those afflicted by cancer.

However, not everything has been so rosy. In the decade before his confession, Armstrong’s career was dogged by doping allegations. Newspapers, drug testing agencies, and former teammates accused him of using illegal PEDs and blood doping techniques. Many testified that they had seen him inject drugs. Armstrong vehemently denied these allegations, denouncing his accusers as liars and suing many of them for libel. He won millions in legal battles, pushing people into settlements they could hardly afford. According to whistleblower and former teammate Tyler Hamilton, Armstrong threatened, “I’m going to make your life a living hell both in the courtroom and out of the courtroom.”

The confession may have been about coming clean to himself.

The confession may have been about coming clean to himself.

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A strange twist of fate

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The month was September, the year 2011. After beginning the season as a favorite to win the World Series, the Boston Red Sox had suffered the worst collapse in baseball history, losing almost every game in the final month of the season. “Well,” All-Star slugger Adrian Gonzalez told reporters, “God didn’t have it in the cards for us.”

Gonzalez’s comment sparked rage throughout the Red Sox fan base. Perhaps it was his dismal performance at the end of the season. Maybe it was the fact that the pitching staff had been sitting in the clubhouse drinking beers as the team floundered. More likely, however, is that fans were reacting to Gonzalez’s characterization of the collapse as inevitable.

"Please, I swear, this isn't my fault."

“Please, I swear, this isn’t my fault.”

Gonzalez’s refusal to accept responsibility for failing represents a common human desire. Whenever possible we try to avoid blame, escape culpability for mishaps. This makes sense: nobody wants to be held accountable for actions she did not commit. Admitting fault is an unpleasant experience, one we generally try to avoid when unnecessary.

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Keeping with the spirit of the games

That special time of year is upon us, that quadrennial gathering where the world’s greatest come together to compete for their countries. Fans rejoice in the spirit of the games, cheering on their teams with cries of pride and patriotism. But what is the spirit of the games? Commentators throw the phrase around under the assumption that everybody knows the Olympic message by heart. Let’s look a little further into this saying.

London 2012 Olympic Rings Ceremony

What do these rings represent?

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Scrutinizing the Gods: Penn State Perspective

Ok. I know a lot of people have been talking about the Penn State scandal over the past week-and-a-half, so I’ll try to keep this brief and to the point. Yes, Jerry Sandusky is a disgusting human being. Yes, Joe Paterno and the other leaders at the university were unfathomably more disgusting for allowing this to happen. But believe it or not, these are neither the main points nor the key takeaways from the disaster. Allow me to explain.

Paterno Stature Sandusky Penn State

Twelve months ago, this man was a god.

Jerry Sandusky, one of the greatest defensive coordinators of all time, retired abruptly at the age of 55. For the moment, forget all speculation as to why he quit. What catches my attention here is the aftermath of his retirement. Fifty-five is relatively young for a football coach. Doesn’t it seem bizarre that nobody hired him? Not a single Division I school even spoke to him.

This makes no sense.

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